According to the results of a national test, which offer the clearest glimpse yet at the scope of the catastrophe, the COVID-19 pandemic spared no state or region as it produced unprecedented learning setbacks for American students, erasing decades of academic gains and expanding racial inequities.
Math test results nationwide experienced their most significant drops ever.
Scores in reading fell to 1992 levels. Nearly four out of ten eighth graders struggled to understand fundamental math ideas.
No state’s average test results showed a discernible improvement, and other states hardly moved from where they were.
These are the results of this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, also referred to as the “nation’s report card,” which assessed tens of thousands of fourth and eighth-grade students nationwide.
The test was administered for the first time since 2019 and is regarded as the first nationally representative investigation of the pandemic’s effects on education.
Typically, researchers consider a 10-point increase or decrease equivalent to around one year of learning.
“It is a serious wakeup call for us all,” Peggy Carr, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the Education Department, said in an interview.
It’s hardly shocking that kids are falling behind.
The pandemic altered every aspect of life, which forced millions of people to learn at home for several months or longer.
The results, made public on Monday, show how severe those deficits were and how difficult it will be for schools to help pupils catch up.
Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, said it’s a reminder that schools must step up their efforts and use the billions of funds Congress has given them to aid in students’ recovery.
Usually, the NAEP test is administered every two years. It was completed between January and March by a representative sample of students from all 50 states and 26 of the largest school districts in the country.
Even before the epidemic, scores had stagnated, but the most recent findings reveal drops on a scale that hasn’t been seen before.
Students’ arithmetic and reading test results were lower than those from 2019.
However, math scores fell by the most significant margins ever recorded in the NAEP test’s history, which started in 1969, while reading scores fell.